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Dublin: 8 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019
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Advantage McIlroy as he and Spieth go head-to-head for the first time in 2016

The world number three got the better of Spieth in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi Championship.

Rory McIlory and Jordan Spieth went head-to-head over night.
Rory McIlory and Jordan Spieth went head-to-head over night.
Image: Brynn Anderson

RORY MCILROY GOT his 2016 campaign off to the best possible start, shooting eight birdies and two bogeys to sit just one shot off the lead following the first round of the Abu Dhabi Championship overnight.

Henrick Stenson and American amateur Bryson DeChambeau hold a share of the lead on seven-under par but McIlroy’s 66 was enough to see him alone in third place on the leaderboard.

His playing partner Jordan Spieth is two shots back in a share of fifth place alongside England’s David Howell.

Like McIlroy, the world number one had two bogeys on his card during Thursday’s action.

However, Spieth came agonisingly close to a hole-in-one on the fourth, leaving his tee-shot just inches away.

European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke bogeyed the second to sit at +1 after just three holes while Michael Hoey is yet to tee-off.

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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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